Celis Jr grabs maiden Formula V8 3.5 pole at Spa

Alfonso Celis Jr took his maiden Formula V8 3.5 pole position at Spa-Francorchamps - Credit: Sebastiaan Rozendaal / Dutch Photo Agency

Alfonso Celis Jr. denied Pietro Fittipaldi a third consecutive pole position by grabbing his maiden World Series Formula V8 3.5 series pole at Spa-Francorchamps on Friday.

The Mexican, part of the Sahara Force India F1 Team, took his Fortec Motorsports machine to the top of timing screens in the dying seconds of the qualifying session around the Belgian circuit, with his 1:59.387s more than three-tenths of a second clear of Lotus driver Fittipaldi.

Rene Binder had been the first driver to dip beneath the two-minute mark in qualifying but the second Lotus driver could only qualify third, 0.578 seconds down on Celis Jr.

SMP Racing by AVF’s Matevos Isaakyan set the fourth fastest time of the session, but the Russian driver found himself disqualified due to a fuel pressure issue, having stopped at turn eighteen during the session, meaning he will start at the rear of the field for race one on Friday afternoon.

Diego Menchaca inherits fourth as a result, with the Fortec Motorsports driver the leading rookie in the field, while Roy Nissany was the leading RP Motorsport driver in fifth ahead of Teo Martin Motorsport duo Nelson Mason and Konstantin Tereschenko.

Yu Kanamaru and Damiano Fioravanti will start eighth and ninth respectively for RP Motorsport, who are fielding three cars this weekend following a change of regulations, while Egor Orudzhev will complete the top ten for SMP Racing by AVF, ahead only of Giuseppe Cipriani and the disqualified Isaakyan.

Spa-Francorchamps Race 1 Qualifying Result

17Alfonso Celis JrMEXFortec Motorsports1:59.387
24Pietro FittipaldiBRZLotus1:59.710
33Rene BinderAUTLotus1:59.965
48Diego MenchacaMEXFortec Motorsports2:00.225
511Roy NissanyISRRP Motorsport2:00.297
610Nelson MasonCANTeo Martin Motorsport2:00.319
79Konstantin TereschenkoRUSTeo Martin Motorsport2:00.336
812Yu KanamaruJAPRP Motorsport2:00.363
921Damiano FioravantiITARP Motorsport2:00.724
105Egor OrudzhevRUSSMP Racing by AVF2:00.757
1115Giuseppe CiprianiITABarone Rampante2:02.884
126Matevos IsaakyanRUSSMP Racing by AVF